Why Do People Have Bizarre Behaviors In The Elevator?

Why Do People Have Bizarre Behaviors In The ElevatorMany of us use elevators several times a day, but how bizarre we act when we are inside remain unnoticed most of the time. Our behaviour inside elevators actually reveal a hidden anxiety.

‘Unconscious movement patterns’

Dr. Lee Gray, fondly referred to as “the Elevator Guy,” has made it his business to investigate this form of public transportation. As he observed, conversations started at the lobby are quickly hushed once people step inside the confines of the elevator. Occupants then uniformly face the door. When a new passenger comes in, we quickly move. He has observed that elevator riders go through a specific pattern of movements unconsciously.

If you are alone in the lift, you are free to do what you want. But when another person enters your little box, you immediately take different corners farthest apart from each other. When a third person joins your square world, you unconsciously move to form a triangle. And when a fourth person enters the elevator, a square is formed. A fifth passenger will probably have to occupy the middle spot. From there on, it is an unchartered territory. Each passenger will have to anticipate that familiar ring followed by the door sliding open. For most of the time inside, the rules are simple — look down, try not to make any eye contact, and busy yourself with whatever handheld gadget you have. Why do people act so awkward inside elevators?


‘Not enough space’

According to Professor Babette Renneberg, a clinical psychologist at the Free University of Berlin, it is because we do not have enough space. “Usually when we meet other people we have about an arm’s length of distance between us. And that’s not possible in most elevators, so it’s a very unusual setting. It’s unnatural.” In such a small and enclosed space, the easiest way to avoid acknowledging this lack of space is to avoid eye-contact. But more than plain social awkwardness, maybe there is still more to this behaviour. Maybe people just find the elevator creepy and just want to get the whole trip over and done with as soon as possible.

Regardless of all the awkwardness and anxieties linked to riding the elevator, Gray affirms that they are still deemed safer than both cars and escalators. At the back of our minds, this is what we know, and this is why we continue to take the lift every single day to work.

What is the most awkward situation that you have encountered in an elevator? Tell us if you agree or disagree with this write-up!

Image: Maurice Broaddus

What Your Wardrobe Reveals About Your Insecurities

“Your clothes reflect how you feel at the moment,” says clinical psychologist and wardrobe consultant Jennifer Baumgartner. “What you wear can be an indicator of what’s going on internally.”

Your Closet Is Overflowing. If you have more stuff than space, it may be symptomatic of your shopping habits, but is more likely a manifestation of arrested development, Baumgartner says. You may be clinging to a positive memory rather than accepting the here and now.

You’re Bored With Your Look. If your wardrobe is a sea of blah—neutrals, basics and safe standbys—you may be feeling a deep sense of boredom in your life that you’ve yet to articulate. There’s often a lack of care to purchase new things or take the time necessary to look polished every day. You may be afraid to take risks, get noticed or of what others might say.


You Bare Too Much Skin. Revealing clothing gets attention, but often the feedback is overly sexual and a form of objectification.

You’re Not Dressing Your Age. Whether you’re dressing too old, too young or out-of-date, it represents an inability to identify and accept who you are at this point in time—and everyone else can see the incongruence.

You’re Always In Work Clothes. This mistake is often made by a professional without a typical 9 to 5 job who is unable to compartmentalize work and life.

You’re Covered In Labels. If you truly like designer clothes, that’s one thing. But if you’re covered in labels and shelling out money you don’t even have, “it’s a farce.” This insecurity may stem from a fear of not measuring up or being good enough.

“Use your wardrobe to analyze who you are internally,” Baumgartner counsels. “Take a look at your closet, get some insight and make changes.”

Source: Forbes

Image: Catwalk Queen